Title: Queen of Shadows
Series: The Shadow World #1
Author: Dianne Sylvan
Berkley Publishing Group (Penguin)//Ace Books
Spread throughout the dark corners of our world lies the Shadow World, a society of vampires who feed off the living. In Austin, Texas, one woman’s madness will drive her into a world that few people ever see–or even know exists…
Shortly after she picked up a guitar, Miranda Grey conquered the Austin music scene with a newfound ability to psychically manipulate her audience’s emotions. But as her powers outgrow her control, her mind is increasingly invaded by haunting secrets and overwhelming sadness. Unable to look anyone in the eye, Miranda’s fast approaching the edge of insanity–with no one to catch her fall…
When he outlawed killing humans, David Solomon, Prime of the South, ignited a civil war among Austin’s vampires. His sympathy for mortals angers the old guard who refuse to control their violent urges. David has his hands full with the growing insurgency, but he takes in a broken-down woman, a musician in need of supernatural guidance. He doesn’t know that Miranda Grey has the power to change his world as well…
I love grungy covers. Something about this one, in particular, sets the mood. Of course, the red-head on the cover doesn’t hurt. I kept flipping to the cover, and I could really see that being Miranda. Of course, the cover image (not to mention the title) gives the entire story away.
I rushed out and bought this book as soon as I saw the blurb for the back. No, seriously. I called a book store while I was still at work and rushed out that night to buy it. I’m so glad I did.
Miranda Grey is a powerful character. I don’t mean that she is perfect in every way, or capable of throwing cars with her bare hands, or anything silly like that. She’s a strong character; she copes as best she can with what she has, trying to keep herself as sane as she can by avoiding eye contact with anyone.
David Solomon is another character that I grew to like. He’s a bit of an ass at times, but overall he’s a pretty good guy, for a vampire who runs the southern United States. Everything he does has purpose; from the no-kill laws, to sending Miranda away once she’s learned to defend herself. He protects the people, whether they be vampires or humans, at the expense of himself.
David and Miranda really make this book what it is, but let’s not forget the secondary characters. Faith, Devon, and Jonathan, along with a host of guards and friends really help to keep the novel going. Faith has a camaraderie with David that is hard not to laugh at; Devon, the Prime located in California, and his Consort Jonathan, are two characters I want to know more about, given their relationship with David.
Kat and Drew, Miranda’s friends, I had a harder time with. Maybe because, after reading about Faith, and Devon, and Jonathan, nevermind David, Kat and Drew just seemed to be absurd because they’re normal.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. So much so, that as soon as the next one comes out, I’m going to grab it off the shelf.
(Also, were there a few references to the movie Serenity, or was that just me? Faith thinks, “You can’t stop the signal,” on page 93, and then of course there’s Miranda’s name. It could just all be a coincidence.)